In a classic fallout of humans encroaching the territory of other animals, bears are seen in increasing numbers near human settlements in Satlasana taluka in North Gujarat. The latest incident is reported at Sudasana village, 14 km away from taluka headquarters Satlasana, where a sloth bear was seen around the village during the entire night of Saturday.
A bear entered the village last night at around 9 hours frightening the people Many people locked themselves up in their homes. The bear actually entered a house. However, since the house had two doors, it went out through the second door.
The frightened villagers in this village with a population of around 4800 in around 1000 houses seemed worried about the appearance of bears, so close to them. After the incident, a Kheralu forest department official visited the village.
Villagers claim that the fear of bears causes them a lot of trouble in day-to-day living. They say the bears destroy the things and merchandise in shops and homes. Locals say that when they inform the forest department, the forest department files a complaint against them for harassing the bear.
The equitable balance between man and the wild needs to be established in a scientific manner. Sloth bears have been tamed and used as performing animals and as pets. Bear falls under the category of wild animal Schedule-1.
People often forget that the area near Satlasana, especially the Dharoi-Satlasana belt and the Kheralu area is the natural habitat of sloth bears (Melursus ursinus), a bear species native to the Indian subcontinent. As per the latest census, completed last month, the total population of Bears have surpassed 400. In 2019, 342 bears were reported, whereas the latest figures count them between 390 to 410. The sloth bear is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, mainly because of habitat loss and degradation.
Recently. forest Department had registered an FIR under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 against two persons of Sudasana village after a video of them chasing a bear on Sadasana to Umrecha road went viral.
Interestingly, bear holds an important place in Hindu religious and mythological texts, the most famous being the Jambuvant. The BearKing Jambuvant’s story appears in Ramayana as showing him as a key ally to Ram in exile.